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Viewpoints: NNMI: A New Place for Advancing Manufacturing

Michael F. Molnar, FSME, CMfgE, PE, Director - Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office, SME Past President


Additive manufacturing has captured popular attention now that retailers are selling low-cost 3D printers. There is a perception that additive manufacturing simply appeared in the past two years, yet the technology has been under development for nearly 30 years—a timeline that is about average for a process or new material to mature from laboratory to production. Full Article

When Bytes Meet the Reality of Manufacturing

Contributing Editor Bruce Morey


Computing data storage continues to get faster and cheaper. Since collecting huge data sets is becoming ever more feasible, now moving to affordable cloud storage, what is the impact to manufacturing? What are the risks? Full Article

UpFront: Note to Self: It's the Technology, Stupid!

Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster


Between 2000 and 2011, the US lost 5.7 million manufacturing jobs as more than 65,000 manufacturing establishments closed their doors. Like many people, I thought I had a pretty good grasp on the reasons for that decline: low wages in foreign countries, trade deals, etc. Then I came to SME in 2011, and learned that I was missing a pretty big part of the story—a part that, quite frankly, I had never even heard mentioned before: the role that America’s weakness in manufacturing technologies has played. Full Article

Viewpoints: Unleash New Investment and Manufacturing Growth

Don Lane, President & CEO, Makino


Today the overall outlook for the US manufacturing industry is optimistic, but I worry that we are missing out on additional opportunities for growth due to poor past experiences and current government policies that dissuade or even inhibit manufacturers from pursuing ongoing investment. Demand within the machine tool market is a fairly accurate indicator for the health of any country’s manufacturing sector. Over the last couple of years, US machine tool demand has flattened out compared to previous years. Full Article

Will Moore’s Law Apply to 3D Printing?

Contributing Editor Bruce Morey


There is a lot of buzz around additive manufacturing, also called 3D printing, these days. Numerous trade articles, workshops, and conferences are devoted to today’s hot trend. There are a number of predictions of how this disruptive technology will change manufacturing as we know it. While this may not be true, taking a broad look at the hype and the reality is informative. Full Article

Viewpoints: 3D Printing Jigs, Fixtures and Other Manufacturing Tools

Jon Cobb, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Stratasys Ltd.


The fundamental objectives of manufacturing—improve quality, decrease cycle time and reduce costs—are the primary reasons that jigs and fixtures are so abundant. It doesn’t matter if the operation is fully automated or entirely manual; jigs and fixtures are deployed throughout manufacturing operations with the goal of reducing costs while accelerating production processes.When expanded beyond jigs and fixtures to include all manufacturing tools that serve as operational aids, they are even more widespread.  Full Article

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